Links for 7th April 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. The Chilly Frontier: Antarctica, Greenland, and Elsewhere

    "Humanity and all biodiversity is a two-dimensional film on the surface of the Earth. This is such a waste of a beautiful planet. We should build our civilization dozens of miles into the sky and at least a few miles underground. We can bring ample biodiversity with us, constructing megascale arcologies. With personal flight technologies and embedded intelligent systems to prevent us from slamming into each other, we could feel free to fly from miles underground to altitudes above Mt. Everest in something like half an hour." Nothing like a bit of plausible utopian thinking to brighten the afternoon. 🙂

    Tagged with: futurismspacecolonisationutopiatechnologybiodiversity

  2. Writing Scenically

    "A story is not like an essay. In an essay, you want to give the reader your opinion or information. The emphasis in an essay is an answer to the question of “what?” An essay is a response to the question, “What do you know?” We read essays to find out stuff. Stories, though, are about experience. We read a story not to find out information but to experience something. The key question of a story is “how?” as in “How did it happen?” Story writing requires a different set of writing skills than an essay. Story writing requires that you can present a scene." Jim van Pelt makes it look easy, as always.

    Tagged with: writingfictionadvicetipsscenestructurespecifics

  3. Double Hand Transplant Reawakens Brain Control

    "after surgeons carefully find all the tiny nerves they can from the former stump and attach them to the donated hands, the nervous system does a remarkable thing. It begins to regenerate nerves at the rate of about 1 millimeter a day. Over a period of months, control and sensation returns to the patients and the hands begin to act and feel like their own appendages.

    The nervous system, even without hands, retains some of the structures that receive and send messages to the hands. In fact, it's that residual knowledge that leads to the phenomenon of "phantom limbs," in which the brain mistakenly tries to use the hand or limb. But when a hand is reattached, the brain's ability to control and feel the hands kicks back in."

    Tagged with: medicinesciencetransplantlimbnervous-system

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